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Meet Tia

Tia Wackerhagen enjoying nature

Meet Tia from East Carolina University! This Summer, Tia will be joining our Nutrition and Natural Medicine in Peru and Internship in Peru programs. We can’t wait to welcome her in the Sacred Valley of the Incas! Get to know her in this interview.

Tell us more about you:

I am a mother of 4 who returned to school in my mid-30’s for a complete career change from a certified financial planner to nurse practitioner. I love learning, so this 7 year run in college fits me well! I am graduating from East Carolina University in North Carolina with my doctorate in Spring of 2025. I love hiking, camping, surfing and anything outdoors. I am a legit tree hugger and gardener. We have backyard chickens and all! Along with 4 kids, I have an amazingly supportive partner Matt.

What is your main motivation for participating in the program?

As I prepare to graduate with my doctorate in nursing-family nurse practitioner specialty, I go back to the root of why I entered the medical field; a holistic natural approach to healing and wellness. This program serves to deepen my understanding and excitement about natural modalities that can bring about health that I will use in clinical practice.

Tia with her family
What organizations are you involved in on campus?

While I am not involved in any on-campus organizations, I am co-chair of Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments Food & Agriculture committee, a national organization.

Tell us about some of the places/things on your bucket list?

I would like to visit Montenegro, Costa Rica, live in Peru for a period of time (check).

What are your future career goals?

I am currently an RN for an organization called Roof Above in Charlotte North Carolina, serving individuals who were chronically homeless who are now housed. My career goal is to continue with Roof Above and become the organizations first nurse practitioner.

What motivated you to choose Peru? 

There is something magical about Peru. While I have never been, I have seen multiple videos and read plenty about the hiking and beautiful outdoor experiences. I also have generational roots in Peru.  

Tia in the snow!
What is your favorite quote? 

 “Because you are alive, anything is possible”

Thich Nhat Hanh

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Completing my bachelors of science in nursing summa cum laude while being a parent of 4 and working part time.

In addition to our programs in Peru, Linguistic Horizons offers a variety of authentic experiences abroad. Learn more about our study abroad and international internship programs!

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